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How do you direct a film? originally appeared on rate: the place to acquire and share knowledge, empower people to learn from others and better understand the world.

answers by Ty Leisher, Writer/Director of 11th Hour Cleaning, on rate:

I am the director of films like 11th Hour Cleaning and have been directing for 12 years.

The way you start directing is by grabbing a camera and some actors and making a movie. It sounds simple and too simple, but with the advent of smartphones equipped with stunning cameras and the affordability of high-end cameras, you can be a filmmaker for little money.

The only way to start a film directing career is to make films, put them into the world and make another. The more films you make, the better you become and the clearer your voice becomes.

As Mark Duplass said, the cavalry isn’t coming for you. You must do the work yourself and continue to be your biggest supporter.

Directing requires a lot of preparation during pre-production. They say a director’s job is to rewrite the script, cast actors, put a camera in front of them, and stay out of their way. But that’s not all a director does. They are the one-stop shop for any questions that need to be answered during the shoot.

You have to start small with your films. Don’t try to make a huge budgeted project from scratch. You have to cut your teeth before you can run with the cops. Keep your locations minimal, limit your actors to two or three, and make sure your story is great.

If you’ve never directed before, start with a 30-second commercial. You can shoot this in a single location and with one or two actors in one day. This gives you an insight into how a day of shooting works and what you need to do on a larger project. After shooting a few commercials, shoot a 5-10 minute short film.

A short film will show you how to tell a longer story, and it takes two or three days to shoot. This gives you a feel for what it’s like to make a small film.

When you’re ready to take the plunge into a feature film, try to keep the budget low. With no-name actors and you as a no-name director, you’ll sell a movie for $100,000 at most. So make sure you are not above your weight class.

As soon as you shoot your first film, add a zero to the end of your budget. If you’ve made a $50,000 film, aim for your second to be $500,000. Continue this process until you have 2-3 films under your belt and your vision is consistent.

At this point, you will likely find an agent and/or manager to help guide your career past pitfalls.

This question originally appeared on rate – the place to acquire and share knowledge, empower people to learn from others and better understand the world.

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